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Tom Coronel secures Japanese victory

Tom Coronel brought home his ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC in first position to secure his first victory of the season and his second career victory in the World Touring Car Championship as Yvan Muller extended his Championship lead over team-mate Rob Huff to thirteen points.

Click here for the full Round 20 Results.

Dutchman Coronel started from the front row of the reverse grid and he used the advantage of the BMW’s Rear Wheel Drive to outstart Pole Position driver Darryl O’Young to lead all the way, despite the pressure from Muller and Huff.

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At the start, O’Young lit up his front wheels and was slow away, which gave Coronel the chance to jump the bamboo engineering driver. O’Young saw his race end at turn one, after he was pushed into the gravel trap by Lukoil-SUNRED’s Gabriele Tarquini.

Muller in his Chevrolet looked to use the early race advantage of having the extra grip to grab the lead from Coronel, but the Dutchman resisted and this in turn brought Rob Huff into play, who in turn was bringing Robert Dahlgren in the hastily rebuilt Volvo C30 and the third Chevrolet of Alain Menu.

It was announced that the first corner contact between Tarquini and O’Young was under investigation by the race stewards and soon enough, he was awarded a drive through penalty and he took it on lap nine, before calling it a day two laps later as he parked his SUNRED SR Leon 1.6T in the garage.

This left the top five drivers in a race of their own as new sixth place runner, Michel Nykjaer, was holding up a train of BMW 320TC’s, which was being led by the WSR/Wiechers-Sport car of Colin Turkington, who was right on the tail of the Dane for the whole race.

Dahlgren appeared to be slowing on lap fifteen as he lost pace for a moment and this gave Menu fourth, while Muller was still trying to force Coronel into a mistake, with Huff lurking just behind.

As the race entered the latter stages, Dahlgren was soon right back on the tail of Menu and challenging for fourth, instead of a podium finish, and Nykjaer was busy defending his position from the quicker BMW’s behind.

Coronel held on to secure his second victory in the WTCC, his second in Japan and his first since 2008, when he made the inspired tyre call at Okayama. Muller finished second with Huff third, with Nyjkaer sixth and top Yokohama Independents runner while Charles Ng secured the Jay Ten Trophy honours for the second time.

With four races left, at the Tianma circuit in Shanghai in two weeks time (November 6) and the Macau season finale in four weeks time (20 November), Muller holds an thirteen point advantage over Huff while Menu is the outsider for the title, sitting seventy three points behind with a hundred points to race for. Coronel, with his victory has given himself some breathing space in the battle for fourth overall.

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